How well do you know your zucchini plants? Take our short quiz about whether situations as described for zucchini are a problem… or not. See correct answers at the end of the article.
Question 1: After 10 days on vacation you return home to find that your zucchini plant is still thriving and has matured several very-large fruits that are over 15 inches long and more than 2 inches in diameter. Problem or Not?
This Baby Round zucchini has grown to over 15 inches in diameter.
Question 2: You fry and eat a dozen or so of your earliest zucchini blooms, then you miss harvesting the next round of blooms. You notice that some of new blooms have what looks like small green tubes on the stems below the flowers. These blooms sit on the plant for 2 or 3 weeks before falling off. At the same time, several blooms produce fruit that you harvest and enjoy. Problem or Not?
Question 3: On the first hot afternoon of summer you see that the leaves of your zucchini plants look a little tired and droopy around the edges. After you water the plants, all the leaves perk up and look normal by evening. Problem or Not?
Question 4: Your new zucchini plants grow quickly and bloom vigorously but most to all of the early blossoms fall off or fail to produce fruits. Problem or Not?
The top picture shows a female blossom; notice the small fruit growing immediately behind the blossom. The bottom pictures a male blossom; note the straight stem without any fruit structure.
Question 1: Problem. This plant may not produce many more fruits, or may decline and die earlier than plants that are harvested regularly. Zucchini plants may remain productive for months if you pick squash fruits when small and immature. If even a single zucchini fruit is allowed to grow large or develop seeds, this may reduce your yield from that plant.
Question 2: Problem. Female fruit falling off usually results from lack of pollination. This scenario suggests partial or incomplete pollination. For most zucchini varieties, female flowers must be pollinated to produce zucchini fruit.
Question 3: Problem. Any wilting is harmful and may cause permanent damage to squash plants. Wilting can be difficult to prevent with cucurbits during hot weather. Plants should be watered deeply while maturing and establishing to encourage deep root systems, and large leaves may be judiciously thinned as hot weather arrives to reduce transpiration.
Question 4: Not a problem. The first round of zucchini blooms are usually mostly or entirely male, and male blooms do not produce fruits.
To view customized instructions instructions for growing zucchini, go to GardenZeus and enter your zip code, then go to zucchini.
Other GardenZeus articles helpful for growing zucchini include: